Guinness release a brand new brew just in time for St Patrick's Day

Mid-March in Australia does not typically bring ideal weather conditions for drinking Guinness, but this year the Irish brewer is offering an alternative.

Hop House 13 Lager has been launched to coincide with St Patrick's Day, following a successful showing in Ireland and other markets overseas.

"Back home it's proved to be a great option on the rare occasions the sun comes out to play," says Guinness ambassador Domhnall Marnell.

"We identified Australia as being a really perfect market for it, where there's a strong Irish presence and a strong fandom and loyalty to Guinness already, but obviously the climate dictates that lagers and now more recently pale ales are the most popular options."

A new old favourite

Brewed with the Australian and American hops Galaxy, Topaz and Mosaic, Hop House's particulars read more like something you would expect coming from an upstart craft brewery than the grandfather of Dry Irish Stout.

"The beer's a lively sip, imparting a sweet fruity aroma thanks to hints of apricot and peach, with subltle malt notes bursting through," Guinness says.

"On the palate, Hop House 13 is full-flavoured while still being crisp and hoppy without the bitterness, leading to a clean, refreshing finish."

Draught revolution

But Marnell says Irish drinkers have been quick to embrace the brand in its more contemporary guise.

"At home in Ireland, it's been a huge revolution on draught. Within just four short years it's become a mainstay – if a bar doesn't have Hop House on draught, people are confused as to why," he says.

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"It has risen up the ranks of the top three lagers on draught in the country, which is phenomenal. In the north it's taking Heineken and Peroni sales and really giving them a run for their money."

A toast of the Irish

Teeling Irish Whiskey has also come to the party with some special products for Australians who want to celebrate St Patrick's Day in style.

The Port Cask Matured Single Malt is the latest in the distiller's Brabazon Bottling Series, a limited edition collection of whiskies showcasing the impact of fortified wine cask maturation.

"For this whiskey we used a combination of ex-Tawny, White, and Ruby Port barrels in the maturation process resulting in a delicious expression bursting with fruit, toffee, and nutmeg character," says Stephen Teeling.

"We bottle this whiskey at 49.5 per cent ABV which also adds further spice and complexity."

St Patrick's brew

Teeling has also collaborated with Melbourne brewery Stomping Ground on a beer that has been specially designed to be served in a boilermaker combination with Teeling Whiskey.

"It's a delicious 4.5 per cent ABV coffee stout aptly called 'Snakes Out' (legend has it that St. Patrick was the person to rid Ireland of snakes!) which also uses beans from Proud Mary Coffee Roasters and will be available at selected pubs around Melbourne for St Patrick's Day," says Teeling's local ambassador Martin Lynch.

"We became good friends with the Stomping Ground guys after meeting them at events around Melbourne and we were immediately wowed by their story and amazing beers.

"We both share so many synergies as two urban-based innovative producers, who have revived our respective crafts in inner-city suburbs, which had been former hubs of brewing and distilling but the industries had died out in recent times."

A cause to celebrate

Lynch says the company is expecting the largest ever celebration of St Patrick's Day in Australia, with the big day falling on a Saturday, which occurs no more than every five or six years.

"While there will always be Irish Pubs celebrating St Patrick's Day with the usual staples such as Guinness and green beer, we have preferred to focus on celebrations which elevate the Irish whiskey drinking experience," he says.

"We have worked with top Australian cocktail bars, restaurants, and producers to run premium events such as Irish whiskey and cocktail masterclasses, whiskey and cheese pairings, and food degustations.

"We have found this approach has attracted many Australians who had stopped celebrating St. Patrick's Day at an Irish Pub, to now enjoying the occasion again but in a more relaxed environment."

Guinness has created the Black List on their to help guide St Patrick's Day revellers to Irish Pubs where they can enjoy festivities with their mates.